Saturday, July 13, 2013

Replace UNUM

That is what Linda Nee, a former Unum employee and whistle blower, says that employers should do. In her blog today, Ms. Nee suggested that employers can protect employees from Unum’s abuses by replacing Unum with another insurance company, or by insisting on a “service contract” designed to provide a fair review, if the employer has more than 2,000 employees. 

Unum has had a poor reputation for a very long time, and was actually found to be the second worst company in the entire insurance industry.  That finding came several years after the 2004 Regulatory Settlement Agreement (“RSA”) in which the U.S. Department of Labor and the state insurance regulators forced Unum to reconsider about 200,000 disability benefit claims that it previously denied or terminated. The RSA was supposed to ensure that Unum cleaned up its act.

Ms. Nee’s blog focused on service contracts, but the easier course of action would seem to be replacing Unum. The problem is that many other insurers have started adopting Unum’s methods. CIGNA did so, and as a result, was recently subjected to an RSA, which can be found on the CIGNA tab on my home page, that was modeled on the 2004 Unum RSA.  If switching carriers fails to result in fairer claims processing, then the best answer is asking the employer to insist on a policy that does not provide Unum or the replacement insurance company with discretionary authority, which is the source for most of the unjust actions by the insurers.

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